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Celebrating 40 Years of Advancing Safety and Justice

1984 – 2024

To mark the 40th anniversary of the Justice Assistance Act of 1984, the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) will recognize the extraordinary efforts of individuals, teams, organizations, and agencies that have produced outstanding innovations and made significant contributions to our Nation’s criminal justice system.

Signed into law on October 12, 1984, the Act established the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) and BJA within the U.S. Department of Justice. BJA was created with the mission of supporting local, state, and tribal efforts to reduce crime, create safer communities, and reform our Nation’s criminal justice system. In line with these three priorities, BJA will make awards in the following categories:

Excellence in the Field of Criminal Justice Awards

Award Nomination Deadline

Award nominations are due by 8:59 p.m. ET on Sunday, July 21, 2024.

Reducing Violent Crime Award

This award recognizes an individual or team for their significant contributions to the development and implementation of a successful approach to reduce violent crime in a specific jurisdiction or nationwide.

Co-Creating Safer Communities Award

This award recognizes an individual or team for their successful community engagement efforts in the co-creation of public safety within a jurisdiction. These efforts include outreach and connection to community residents and the establishment of partnerships with community stakeholders who are recognized and trusted by residents in information gathering, planning, and decision making.

Reforming Our Nation's Criminal Justice System Award

This award recognizes an individual or team for their accomplishments in transforming an aspect of the criminal justice system, such as law enforcement or forensic processes, prosecution or defense practices, the work of courts and judges, probation or supervision, corrections, crisis response, interactions with individuals with mental health or substance use disorders, or restorative justice practices.

Nomination Guidelines and Selection Process

The nominees can include individuals, teams, states, local or tribal government agencies, nonprofits, or institutions of higher education. Activities being nominated must have taken place between January 1, 2014, and December 31, 2023. Priority scoring will be given to nominations that are directly or indirectly related to current or past BJA-funded projects, programs, and/or initiatives. BJA will conduct an internal peer review and vet nominees through the Office of the General Counsel, Civil Rights Division, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Office of Communications.

Submit an Award Nomination

Stay tuned to this page as we add resources throughout the year.

Date Created: June 6, 2024